January-July 1842

The Collected Letters, Volume 14


TC TO RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES ; 23 May 1842; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18420523-TC-RMM-01; CL 14: 192-193


Chelsea, 23 May, 1842—

Dear Milnes,

Here are two Notes,1 just received, concerning the Sister of Burns. The things stated there I consider as authentic, and equivalent to facts that one has seen. Inspection therefore being complete, ought not action straightway to begin? Hands to the work:—and no “dilettantism,” mon brave [my brave man]; but a right hearty shove, as in a business one is earnest about!—

It seems to me we ought to attack your great Premier2 for a pension of £100 to this poor Widow,—or if it could be made, with reversion of £50 each to her two meritorious Daughters, that would be still better. In the name of all that is left of Hero-worship, of Divine (that is) and of Humane, in this distracted Earth, I conjure and summon you, Richard Milnes, to stand forth valiantly in this matter, and do what is right and requisite! Not the “possible”; faire l'IMpossible [to do the impossible],3 that is the point. Allons [Forward]!—

Will you be at home for me on Wednesday4 about 3 o'clock, with some news about the thing. I will try to get Lockhart also to give us some meeting in your neighbourhood. Or if you see him, in the interim, make you an engagement for us both, and I will stand to it. If you answer nothing, I will consider 3 o'clock and Wednesday as fixed. Write, otherwise, and fix your own day and hour; and I, on Wednesday, can meet Lockhart myself.

“Blessed is he that wisely doth
The poor man's case consider;
For when the time of trouble is,
The Lord will him deliver.”5

Consider the rapid advance of Chartism, fall of Corn-Laws, and even of Land-Aristocracies,—and be a Poet in your Politics!

May the gods be good to you.

Yours ever

T. Carlyle